House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has decried the non-implementation of projects and programmes for which funds were allocated in the 2020 budget.
The Speaker warned that any expenditure of public funds outside of the Appropriation Act is a crime.
The Speaker also said the government’s commitment to organised labour, which led to the suspension of the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), must be respected and implemented “in clear conscience”.
Gbajabiamila spoke at the National Assembly while welcoming House members back from their annual vacation.
The Speaker noted that the failure to implement the projects contained in the budget is a betrayal of the public trust, which also undermines faith in the government and frustrates good efforts at national development.
He warned that the House might be forced to take action against those who fail in implementing the annual budget, saying: “I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Gbajabiamila restated the determination of the House to return to a regular budget cycle – running from January to December.
“We kept that promise in our first year and set a standard from which we must not deviate. However, there is an ongoing problem of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government failing to implement projects and programmes for which funds have been provided in the budget.”